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CiteLighter – Handy online research, citation, bibliography, sharing tool

Yes. I admit it. I watch the Food Channel. So sue me.

It’s not like I’m addicted or anything. I like eating food. I like making food. And so . . . I will watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives or the occasional Throwdown with Booby Flay.

But I don’t watch as much since Alton Brown’s Good Eats was moved to a weekday morning time slot. You remember Alton Brown. Nerdy guy. Science facts. Easy stuff to make. Yeah, that guy. He said a lot of things but one thing he repeated quite often:

The only one-task item you need in your kitchen is the fire extinguisher.

His argument? You shouldn’t own any kitchen gadget that doesn’t have more than one use.

Yeah. So?

I had a flashback to Alton Brown and Good Eats this morning while reviewing a new online tool I recently ran across called CiteLighter.

CiteLighter is a browser plugin that gives users the ability to collect online information, store it online, make comments on that information, add auto-researched Knowledge Cards to your project, automatically create a formatted bibliography from all of that information, edit that bibliography, share your project via email, export your project to Word, and learn tons of stuff / get an A in the process.

It’s the ultimate Alton Brown multi-tasking tool.

I’ve attached a PDF saved from the Word export option to give you an idea of what the final version might look like.

I like that Citelighter is built right into your browser and that I can easily turn it on or off with the click of a button. I like that I can edit the bibliography to include print resources. I like that I can share my project with others, that I can go from online to Word quickly, and I like the ease of use.

I really like that I can search all of the projects in the CiteLighter database by keyword and find out what others have found out.

You can find some nice videos of the features here and FAQs here. CiteLighter also has a Pro version that I’m not sure would be needed. It gives you access to the Cengage Learning article database. That would be helpful, I suppose but I’m not sure the $10 per month price tag is worth it. I’ll let you decide on that.

But even the free version gives you lots of multi-tasking options. You can use it to quickly save research that you’re doing for future lessons. Students can obviously use it as part of the work they’re doing. I can see kids even using it simply to create bibliographies.

Bibliography edit screen

Whatever you figure out, I’m sure Alton will be proud.

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